Supernatural Detroit Sets Scene for On-line Serial Novel

DETROIT, Michigan— Detroit-born author, Michigan Emmy-winner and satirist Chris Kassel announced the release of his seventh book Saturday at an Orbit staff party hosted by White Stripes founder Jack White. For his new work of fiction, Kassel puts a New Media take on a Dickensian twist. He will release The Jinx Fragment on-line in single-chapter installments for 20 weeks to allow author and reader to interact as the story unfolds.

The Jink Fragment by Chris Kassel, Illustrated by Jesse Kassel

Kassel hopes to expand on Charles Dickens’ style, by taking it into the 21st Century. Dickens, whose literary success began with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction. Like Dickens’ audience, The Jinx Fragment readers commentary will drive the story interaction – but in real time.

“Real time interaction between author and reader is a luxury that the esteemed Mr. Dickens did not have,” says the Detroit-based author. Reader comments on the story website will give Kassel immediate feedback as the plot twists and turns.

Set amid the decay and decadence of urban Detroit, The Jinx Fragment borrows elements from classic horror and places them in the hands of a couple of high-school aged teenagers from different backgrounds.

While penned for young people, Kassel’s latest novel also appeals to adults. It is smartly written with an eye toward the reader who loves characters, words and “other worlds” where Kassel says, “The supernatural becomes the natural.” However, it is not all fun and games.

“There are some brutal truths within the pages, but they are not glorified,” says the author. “Rather, the glory is in hope and transcendental power.”

The first chapter, “Casket Sharp,” is free to all. Readers then have the option of purchasing the book a chapter at a time or to pre-purchase all 20 chapters at once. But there will be no spoilers as everyone will have access to only one new chapter per week.

Subscribers who pre-purchase all 20 on-line chapters will receive a poster of The Jinx Fragment book cover art signed by the author and illustrator. The printed book will be available in Spring 2016; after all on-line chapters are released.

A former wine critic for the Detroit Free Press, Kassel is voice and creator of the wildly popular Chris Kassel’s Intoxicology Report, where he weaves biting satire with honest observations that have won him devoted fans and global acclaim. Kassel’s tenure includes Fun magazine and Orbit, billed as Detroit’s only arts, culture, entertainment, and humor magazine created by Jerry Vile. Kassel announced the launch of The Jinx Fragment at a party hosted by Jack White, of the White Stripes, to celebrate the release of The Orbit Magazine Anthology Said White, “Fun magazine and Orbit felt a lot more supportive and positive to me and also full of satire as well – which is the positive side of that sort of ‘hip’ culture.”

Kassel’s son, Detroit visual artist Jesse Kassel will illustrate each chapter of both the on-line and printed versions of the book. Jesse’s work, from murals to sculptures, has been featured in exhibitions and publications both in Detroit and around the world.

The Jinx Fragment author Chris Kassel and illustrator Jesse Kassel

The Jinx Fragment author Chris Kassel (left) and illustrator Jesse Kassel

While father and son have collaborated on a number of projects, this is their most ambitious project to date. The Jinx Fragment combines Chris Kassel’s love of storytelling with Jesse Kassel’s remarkable ability to interpret the characters, bringing together everything that is frightening and beautiful, natural and supernatural, in the strangest and most poignant crevices of the Motor City.

Other Writings by Chris Kassel

Chris Kassel is the Detroit-born author of seven books, both fiction and non-fiction, and the Michigan Emmy-winning writer and co-creator of a number of documentary films about Metro Detroit. Other fiction includes Portraits Without Eyes: Fiction by Chris Kassel published in 2014, and two regional wine books, “A Rite of Paso: Paso Robles Wine Country” (2013) and “Heart & Soil: Northern Michigan Wine Country,” (2014) He is currently working on a book about Lodi, Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 2015 Wine Region of the Year.

Kassel’s piece, “Robin Williams: Art, Alcoholism And Suicide,” won “Best Post of the Year” in the 2015 Wine Blog Awards.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Amy Corron Power at 832-651-3985 or via e-mail: amy@vinconceivable.com

– A downloadable copy of this press release is available here.

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